Jon Lajoie speaks on unexpected success

Nick Baker

YouTube star says he is ‘just trying to ride the wave’

Montreal comedian and actor Jon Lajoie entertained a young and vocal crowd at the Cleveland Improv on Sunday, April 5. Laura Torchia | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

The Internet has put the power of uninhibited free speech in the hands of any Average Joe smart enough to post a video to YouTube. But while Quebec’s Jon Lajoie would like people to believe he’s just a “regular, everyday normal guy” with an “‘According to Jim’ personality,” he has made quite a name for himself through his comedic music videos when he began posting them last year.

Since then, Lajoie released an album that dropped online in January called “You Want Some of This?” that features some of his big video hits like “2 Girls 1 Cup Song,” “High as Fuck” and “Show Me Your Genitals,” which has more than 12 million views on YouTube.

His videos have also included fictional infomercials for “pedophile beards” and “rapist glasses.” He also recently released a new video called “Alone in the Universe,” a heartfelt tune about the little joys of masturbation.

“It has so much creative freedom, putting these things together,” Lajoie said. “No one’s looking over my shoulder. I just write whatever the hell I want to do and put it out.”

He is currently touring extensively to growing crowds, performing his songs and doing a little stand-up. He performed at the Cleveland Improv Sunday night.

“Every show we do is pretty cool,” Lajoie said. “The people are really nice. We’ve just been having a really good time and trying not to get alcohol poisoning.”

Lajoie had essentially made his name on the Web. His home page features Lajoie’s list of “top five” ways to be successful as an Internet star. Three of the five include making “horrible, disgusting, shocking porn videos,” while No. 1 is to write a song about horrible, disgusting, shocking porn videos. Lajoie has used this last tip as his formula for fame.

He started out as an acting student and, according to his Web site, was a student of ninja assassination techniques at Dawson College near Montreal, where he graduated in 2001.

In 2002, Lajoie began acting on a French-language soap opera as an English-speaking musician named Thomas Edison.

“But I always loved comedy,” Lajoie said. “I wanted to be a comedic actor. Then I watched some videos online, and I go, ‘Oh, shit. People are doing really creative things, making me fall off my chair laughing, with no means or whatever.’ I love writing and all that, but I was like, ‘Fuck it. I’ll just get a camera and learn how to edit on my computer.'”

Lajoie’s songs often feature him on acoustic guitar or rapping over serious music tracks. He is a proficient musician influenced by The Kinks, The Beatles and Bruce Springsteen. He simply adds his signature flair to the songs with his comedic lyrics.

Even his hip-hop tracks feature clever wordplay and a smooth flow, which perhaps comes from Lajoie’s interest in groups like Goodie Mob and Wu-Tang Clan as he was growing up.

With his album now available, touring several cities under his belt, an acting career and YouTube popularity, Lajoie is taking it all in stride.

“A year and a half ago I wasn’t a comedian,” Lajoie joked. “I’m kind of trying to figure it out as I go along. But I’m writing a bunch of shit. I’m going to keep creating videos online ’cause I have so much fun with them. And of course the touring, I love the live stuff.

“I’m just trying to ride the wave and have fun, you know?” he added. “When I stop having fun, I’ll get addicted to some heavy drug, so I can continue the buzz.”

Contact all correspondent Nick Baker at [email protected].